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US Committed to Working with Gambia to Recover Ill-Gotten Gains of Jammeh and Co.

The United States government has expressed commitment to work with The Gambia to pursue all available legal means to recover the ill-gotten gains of exiled former president Yahya Jammeh and his associates identified by the Commission of Inquiry.

In a press release late Thursday, the U.S., through its embassy in Banjul also encouraged other governments and international organizations to render all possible assistance to the Government of The Gambia in this regard.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou announced the immediate forfeiture of Jammeh’s assets worth billions of dalasis, to the state.

At a press conference in Banjul, he said the Janneh Commission which submitted its report to President Adama Barrow, found among other things that the former president either directly or through third parties embezzled over D1 billion (over $300million, over €30million and almost £200million).

Tambadou called on the international community with expertise in asset recovery, particularly the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union to assist The Gambia in recovering stolen assets and properties belonging to the state.

Jammeh owns a $3.5 million mansion in Potomac in the U.S. state of Maryland.

Jammeh’s Potomac Mansion ©Sidi Sanneh

“The United States government fully supports the Government of The Republic of The Gambia’s investigation into the corruption of former President Yahya Jammeh, and Gambian efforts to recover the ill-gotten gains of Jammeh and his associates,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.  “We commend the efforts of the Commission of Inquiry into the Financial Activities of Public Bodies, Enterprises and Offices, and those of the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General of The Gambia for their work in uncovering and documenting the kleptocratic actions and mechanisms of the former president and his associates.”

“We echo President Barrow’s position that “never again” must be the focus of Gambian effort, not only in regards to the abuse of power that led to systematic, state-sanctioned gross violations of human rights, but also in the pervasive corruption that robbed the people of The Gambia and depleted the resources of this country to the benefit of only a very few.”

The U.S. government called on the Gambian government “to work closely and expeditiously with the National Assembly to analyze this extensive corruption, and develop strong legislation, strong regulations, and strong rule of law-based investigative and prosecutorial mechanisms to address persons who abuse their positions of public trust to greedily benefit themselves – not only in the past, but also in the present and the future.”

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